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WRITING Assessment Criteria and Level Descriptors (from September 2018) (public version)

Presentation Features
Appropriateness of Linguistic Features
Band Overall Task Fulfilment Comprehension of Stimulus (Spelling, Punctuation &
Language (Grammar & Cohesion)
• All aspects of the task • Entirely appropriate register, • Complete understanding of • Wide range of grammatical • High level of accuracy in
effectively fulfilled. tone and lexis for the content. stimulus material and task structures used accurately spelling and punctuation.
6 • Material is clearly and instructions. and flexibly. • Layout of letter is appropriate.
logically organised. • Selects all relevant material • Fluent linking of ideas by
from the stimulus notes. appropriate cohesive devices.
• Generally fulfils the task, • Mostly appropriate register, • Almost complete • Mostly accurate use of a • Mostly accurate spelling and
though occasional minor tone and lexis for the context. understanding of stimulus range of grammatical punctuation.
lapses/errors may indicate • A few inaccuracies do not material and task instructions. structures. • Occasional errors are not
5 some limitations. impede communication. • Occasional omissions or • Generally appropriate use of intrusive.
• Answer may be slightly too • Organisation is mostly clear, irrelevancies do not impede cohesive devices. • Layout of letter is appropriate.
long or too short. with minor lapses in communication. • Occasional errors are not
sequencing. intrusive.
• Able to manage the task, but • Generally appropriate • Generally accurate • Uses a fair range of • Inaccuracies in spelling and
restricted in range and register, tone and lexis for the understanding of stimulus grammatical structures. punctuation are sometimes
flexibility by lapses or errors. context, but errors are material and task instructions. • Errors are noticeable and at intrusive.
• Answer may be too long or noticeable. • Omissions or irrelevancies times reflect limited • Layout of letter is mostly
4 too short. • Inappropriate organisation of are noticeable (i.e. includes grammatical resources. appropriate.
information sometimes too little or too much • Inappropriate or insufficient
causes strain. information). cohesive devices sometimes
cause strain.
• Able to fulfil some task • Frequently inappropriate • Basic errors in • Limited range of grammatical • Limited control of spelling and
requirements, but significantly register, tone and lexis for the comprehension of stimulus structures. punctuation.
limited by frequent context. material and task instructions. • Errors are frequent and • Frequent inaccuracies are
lapses/errors and/or restricted • Poor organisation of material • Frequent inaccuracies and/or intrusive, reflecting intrusive.
3 linguistic resources. causes serious strain. inappropriate selection of inadequate resources of • Layout of letter may be
• Answer may be far too long material. grammar. inappropriate.
or far too short. • Minimal or inappropriate use
of cohesive devices.
• Extremely limited • Often unintelligible. • Almost entirely • Very limited grammatical • Very limited control of spelling
communication due to • No evidence of organisation. misunderstands task and resources, even in simple and punctuation.
constant errors and/or stimulus material. sentences. • Layout of letter is
2 severely restricted linguistic • No attempt to use cohesive inappropriate.
resources. devices.
• Very brief/significantly
• Almost non-existent. • Almost unintelligible. • No evidence of understanding • Impossible to follow, • Limited in all respects.
1 task or stimulus material. consisting of strings or
isolated words and phrases.
0 • Candidate does not provide any response.
© OET – 2018
WRITING Assessment Criteria and Level Descriptors (from September 2018) (public version)

Overview of Assessment Criteria

Overall Task Fulfilment
This criterion assesses the candidate’s performance on all the analytical criteria; additionally, it represents the assessor’s general view of the effectiveness of the
writing sample.

Appropriateness of Language
This criterion assesses several features of the task response, including accurate use of appropriate vocabulary and expression, as well as organisation and style.
The assessment considers control of genre (letter of referral) and register (level of formality). In all genres, register is polite and relatively formal. The extent to
which the response is logically organised in a more-or-less formulaic sequence appropriate to both task and professional context is also a relevant consideration.

Comprehension of Stimulus
This criterion assesses the extent to which the candidate understands the stimulus notes and task requirements. It focuses on the selection and transformation of
relevant material from the notes and is thus concerned with adequacy of content (coverage of main points) and accuracy of interpretation of the task instructions.

Linguistic Features (Grammar and Cohesion)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the response demonstrates control of grammatical elements and cohesive devices to express and connect information
clearly and unambiguously subordinate clauses etc. Cohesion refers to the use of appropriate pronouns, conjunctions and connectives, including the absence of
redundancy and repetition.

Presentation Features (Spelling, Punctuation and Layout)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the candidate demonstrates control of spelling and conventions of punctuation to produce writing that reads clearly
and without strain. This criterion also assesses the conventional layout of the letter, the inclusion of the addressee’s name and address, and the opening and
closing salutations.

© OET – 2018